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The Rigby Foundation helps local cancer patient’s access world class treatment

In 2020 the Rigby Foundation generously funded a unique nursing post to connect cancer patients at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust with access to new and innovative cancer therapies and clinical trials.

Twelve months on, the Trust has been reflecting on what a positive impact this role is having on cancer patients. Cancer clinical trials are critical to advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer and as part of her dedicated role, the Rigby Lead nurse Donna Walsh, is able to facilitate the rapid set-up of cancer clinical trials to ensure patients have prompt access to pioneering treatments. This includes access to new drugs that might not be routinely available.

Donna works closely with patients and their families supporting them through the whole process of the clinical trial from enrolment to treatment. Another big part of Donna’s job is to provide emotional support to ensure their journey whilst undergoing cancer trial treatment is made as smooth as possible.

Commenting on her role, Donna said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to work as Rigby Lead Nurse. I would like to thank Sir Peter and the Rigby Foundation for their generosity in funding my role. I am very much looking forward to connecting cancer patients in South Warwickshire with access to innovative cancer treatments and helping to support them during their difficult journey. Progress in cancer treatment occurs primarily as a result of clinical research and I find it extremely rewarding to be part of this fundamental process. I am extremely grateful to be given a platform to be able to make a contribution to the future of cancer treatment – thank you.”

The Trust currently have 23 cancer clinical trials open. Since the post began in May, 3 new clinical trials opened to recruitment with a further 7 planned to open in the next 12 months. These trials offer patients with cancer the opportunity to take part in research. The Rigby Foundation has subsequently confirmed that it will continue the funding of the nursing role for a further year.

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